In a report primarily focused on future product plans for British sports car maker Lotus, AutoCar happens to mention at the end the Dodge Circuit program has been killed as a result of the current financial crisis. The Circuit is the electric sports car first unveiled by Chrysler last fall and is based on the Lotus Europa.
Last November at the LA Auto Show, Lotus Engineering director, Roger Becker acknowledged that the British company was negotiating with Chrysler to build the Circuit. Chrysler meanwhile has committed to building an electric car beginning in 2010 although it has not said which of the five EV prototypes it has has shown will be first to market. Most observers have expected the Circuit to be the first out of the gate. Chrysler spokesman Nick Cappa told ABG that in spite of the current bankruptcy filing "there has been no change to the product plan." Chrylser ENVI president Lou Rhodes remains "jazzed" about the EV development program.
Rhodes told us in a recent interview that there are five Circuit prototypes running in the US with more in Europe, which points to that being the first car. While Cappa wouldn't absolutely confirm the status of the Circuit he did reiterate that EVs were coming starting next year and further announcements were pending. With Fiat set to take control of Chrysler if it emerges from bankruptcy, anything is possible, but for now, the Circuit still seems the most likely candidate for 2010 production.
- Related: Dodge Circuit EV First Drive